Tears were flowing during an emotional — and heartbreaking — farewell on Monday between a man and his family just before U.S. officials deported him back to Mexico.
Jorge Garcia, 39, a father of two from Detroit, Michigan, who worked as a gardener, was deported after a years-long quest to seek legal immigration status.
Garcia was brought to the U.S. by an adult relative when he was just 10 years old; he had tried over the years to find a legal way to stay in the U.S., but was unable.
“I feel kind of sad,” Garcia told USA Today on Sunday before his deportation to Mexico. “I got to leave my family behind, knowing that they’re probably going to have a hard time adjusting, me not being there for them for who knows how long. It’s just hard.”
An emotional video captures the moment Garcia embraced his wife, Cindy, and their two children, aged 12 and 15, as they said goodbye at the airport on Monday, as The Daily Mail reported.
Watch that moment — which includes audible weeping — unfold before:
Cindy Garcia has spoken out about her husband’s plight, noting that he had no criminal record and was a child when he was brought to the U.S. illegally.
“My husband was here illegally and that was the only crime that he committed at 10 years old,” she said. “I understand that I am an American citizen and that our borders need to be protected against terrorists, but my husband is not a terrorist, my husband is not a drug dealer, he is not a criminal.”
Garcia lived in the U.S. without incident until 2005 when he and his wife went on a quest to find him an avenue to legal status. Then, in 2009, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement caught wind of his status, according to The Daily Mail.
The Obama administration gave the family time to try and find a solution, but Garcia wasn’t eligible for Deferred Action for Child Aliens, which would have granted him legal status; he missed the window of being under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012; at the time, he was 32 — just one year over the mark.
Cindy Garcia has made her frustration with President Donald Trump more than known, saying that he has “destroyed” her life”
“We get a new president and this is what he does, tears my family apart,” she said. “I hope everybody is happy.”
Jorge Garcia could also be banned from entering the U.S. for the next 10 years.